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Disclaimer ends the PepsiCo vs. MSM dispute

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MUMBAI: The case filed by cola giant PepsiCo against MSM Motion Pictures and Vashu Bhagnani-owned Pooja Pictures over use of the title ‘Youngistaan’ for their upcoming movie starring Jackky Bhagnani, Neha Sharma, Boman Irani and late Farooq Sheikh, has been dissolved with both parties agreeing to a settlement.

Following a hearing at the Delhi High Court by Justice A K Pathak, it was agreed upon by both parties that a disclaimer will be displayed not only at the beginning of the movie when it releases in theatres on 28 March but also in non-theatrical trailers, the official website of the film, the official twitter account, official facebook account and the official YouTube page. The disclaimer reads: “This movie is not related to or associated with, sponsored or promoted in any manner by Pepsi or Pepsi’s Youngistaan Campaign” and will be effective 15 March onwards.

Apparently, there was talk of the disclaimer even yesterday but PepsiCo finally relented only today. Asked about the same, a spokesperson for Singh & Singh, the law firm representing the cola company, simply said, “The defendants (MSM Motion Pictures and Pooja Pictures) worded the disclaimer the way we wanted it to be. Hence, we agreed to it.”

 It was in January this year that Singh & Singh sent legal notice to MSM Motion Pictures and Pooja Pictures, alleging that the title of their upcoming film, Youngistaan, was an infringement of their client’s (PepsiCo’s) registered trademark.  

The objections raised by PepsiCo notwithstanding, MSM Motion Pictures and Pooja Pictures went ahead and announced the launch of their film on 6 February. PepsiCo then moved the Delhi High Court on 12 February, and its plea said, "Restraining them (the producers) from launching their movie under the impugned title 'Youngistaan' which is nothing but a blatant imitation of the plaintiff's (PepsiCo) registered trademark.”

The hearing was earlier slated for 24 February however, it was postponed to 3 March as the judge was on leave. On 3 March, the case was adjourned as MSM Motion Pictures and Pooja Pictures had sought more time.

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